Posts Tagged ‘sitting still’

Tonight is a torn map

and the woman

is a would-be voyager.

Once, she believed

there was a path.

Now, she believes

there are many.

Sitting still

beside the river,

she notices

the urge to rise,

notices when

the urge has passed.

Notices it rise again.

Being still

is one of the hardest

paths of all.

All around her

the world is moving—

gurgling, waving,

weaving, crawling,

climbing, winging, falling,

eroding. And in her,

more movement

than she dares to admit—

not just mudslides,

tectonic shifts—

every day the landscapes

change. Every day

the inner map she drew

looks less like what’s

really there.

It was no mistake

when it ripped.

Find this poem published in the amazing ONE ART POETRY

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And do nothing, she says.

I think about that as

I shuffle the kids and

make doctor appointments

and edit the pages and


drop off the gifts and reply

to emails and shovel the drive

and read to my daughter

and peel the carrots

and hang up the coats


and all that time, I imagine

sitting for five minutes.

Doing nothing.

Yeah, I should add that

to my list, I think,


as I open the cat food

and stack the bowls.

And there, on the shelf,

between the bowls

and the salad plates,


I feel the nothing

waiting for me, feel

its infinite patience,

feel how it is always here

supporting all this everything.


How generous it is,

I think, suddenly unable

to feel anything

but a longing for nothing,

a longing that lasts at least


fourteen seconds

before I remember

that call I am supposed

to make, that plant desperate

for a drink.

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Note to Self

Even night is not night enough.
—Franz Kafka, in a letter to Felice, his fiancé, 1913.

When even the night
is not night enough
nor does salt seem
salt enough, and the hole
in the looming who am I
is enormous,
but not enormous enough
to gulp down the damn ego whole,
perhaps that is the time
to sit very still
and forget about writing.
There is nothing,
nothing the words
can do then except
not enough because
nothing is enough,
which is to say
only nothing
is enough, and perhaps
in that inadequate night
we are sufficiently vulnerable
to really know nothing.

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